August 14, 2009
(SAUK RAPIDS, Minnesota) — Minnesota’s U.S. Representative Jim Oberstar (D), Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, was given a first-hand look at the nation’s drastic need for long-term infrastructure funding.
Knife River Corporation’s North Central Region hosted a tour for Chairman Oberstar and Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel, on an Interstate 35 project in Chisago County. Visible to the guests were dangerous potholes and crumbling surfaces, which Knife River crews were repairing.
“Several stretches of Minnesota’s roadways are in serious condition and our state mirrors a nation facing a transportation crisis,” said North Central Region President Tim Crennen. “As the author of The Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009, Chairman Oberstar understands the current situation and is proposing a solution that our industry needs to stand behind, and help find a U.S. Senator to champion the legislation in that chamber.”
Chairman Oberstar met with several of Knife River’s front-line employees and listened to their concerns about highway funding and construction jobs.
“Everyone is concerned about the economy and we know how important it is that the reauthorization bill passes, not only for jobs, but to maintain the safety and quality of our highways,” said Shelly Lunzer, an estimating assistant for the company.
Knife River’s I-35 job was made possible through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009.
“We are accepting applications for the first time in two years after a hiring freeze, and have filled some open positions due to jobs like the I-35 project that were fast-tracked through ARRA,” Crennen said. “Our employees are very aware that due to ARRA funding we were able to secure much-needed work.”